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What Is the Standard Pillow Size?

Buying a brand new pillow is one of the best ways to improve the overall quality of your sleep. But walking down the pillow aisle at your local store can get overwhelming when you consider just how many options are available on the market today. You may find yourself wondering, what is the standard pillow size? Will that fit my bed and my pillowcases?

Standard pillows are the most popular size available and are what you’ll find most often at your local store. They measure approximately 20” by 26” and typically fit into a standard pillowcase. They are a good choice for many types of sleepers, though you may want more support if you move around a lot at night.

Before you head out to buy new pillows for your home, read through this article to learn more about the different size options available and which is the best choice for you. You’ll want to choose a pillow that fits your sleep style and the size of the bed that you rest in. Your sleep may depend on it in the end!

Standard Pillow Size

Are All Bed Pillows the Same Size?

No, not all bed pillows are the same size. There are at least seven pillow sizes you can expect to find on the market today, not including the many specialized or novelty pillows many design stores sell. The most common sizes include:

  • Travel pillows
  • Throw pillows
  • Standard pillows
  • Super standard pillows
  • Queen pillows
  • King pillows
  • Body pillows

Which pillow size you will need depends on a variety of different factors. You’ll need to consider the size of your bed, the available pillowcases, and whether or not you need the pillow for any special purposes when making your choice.

How Are Pillow Sizes Measured?

Pillow sizes are based on measuring the length and width of the pillow itself. This measurement is usually taken with the pillow laying on a flat surface so that the stuffing doesn’t bunch up and change the measurement of the sides. This measurement is typically given in either inches or centimeters, depending on which measuring system is most common where you live.

If you’re measuring a pillow, you already own, use a firm tape measure that won’t bend as you stretch it across the pillow. Flexible measuring tapes will not give you an accurate measurement because they will follow the curve of the pillow, adding extra length. Don’t measure diagonally across the center of the pillow, either. You need to measure the straight edges along either side.

Keep in mind that the pillow’s stuffing can distort its shape a bit. A pillow that is 10” x 10” while unstuffed may appear to be 9” x 9” once the filling has been added. If your pillow contains stuffing already, you may need to add an inch or two to your measurements.

Standard Pillow Size Chart

Pillow Size Dimensions (in.) Dimensions (cm.) Pillowcase Size Needed
Travel 20 x 14 in 51 x 35 cm Travel Pillowcase
Throw 18 x 18 in 45 x 45 cm Throw Pillowcase
Standard 20 x 26 in 51 x 66 cm Standard Pillowcase
Super Standard 20 x 28 in 51 x 71 cm Standard Pillowcase
Queen 20 x 30 in 51 x 76 cm Standard or Queen Pillowcase
King 20 x 36 in 51 x 92 cm King Pillowcase
Body 20 x 54 in 51 x 137 cm Body Pillowcase

What Are the Common Pillow Sizes?

Common Pillow Sizes

While many specialty types of pillows are available on the market, most stores will only sell a limited selection. Included here are the seven most common pillow sizes you’re likely to find at stores in your area.

1. Travel Pillows

Travel pillows are designed to be small and thin, enough to give you some support while you sleep and small enough to carry with you easily on your trips. These pillows are around 20 x 14” in size, perfect for use on an airplane or in a car on a road trip.

Some travel pillows are available in different sizes and shapes. The most common alternative to the classic rectangle pillow is the U-shaped neck pillows found in airport stores and tourist shops all around the world. While their curved shape is hard to measure, most neck pillows are roughly 11 x 11” in size.

2. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are commonly found around the home, especially on couches, chairs and as decorative additions to bed coverings. These pillows aren’t necessarily intended for sleeping and offer a bit of lower back support while sitting upright on many different types of furniture. Because of this, they’re often smaller in size – approximately 18 x 18”.

Throw pillows can come in a variety of different sizes, however. It’s not uncommon to see oversized throw pillows in 20 x 20”, 22 x 22”, or even 24 x 24” sizes. They can also come in various shapes, ranging from squares to rectangles, cylinders, or circles.

3. Standard Pillows

Standard pillows are the most common size used for sleeping. Most pillows available at local stores will be standard, just as most bedding for your bedroom will come with standard-size pillowcases. These pillows measure approximately 20 x 26” in size.

Standard pillows fit best on a twin or full-size mattress. Full mattresses, for example, are approximately 53 inches in width, which means that two standard pillows will nicely fit the width of the bed without hanging over the edges. You can use standard pillows on larger bed sizes, but they may fall short and leave you with wasted space on either side of your pillow.

Standard pillows fit most different sleep styles. They work well for people who sleep on their backs, sides, or stomachs. However, they may not offer enough support if you move around a lot. If that is the case, you may want a slightly larger pillow to give you some added cushioning.

4. Super Standard Pillows

Super standard pillows are slightly larger than standard options due to their added length. Super standard pillows measure around 20 x 28”, making a good in-between size between standard and queen-sized pillows. Their slightly larger size also helps to give some added support as you sleep.

Two super standard pillows will fit side-by-side across the top of a queen-sized bed. If used on a full or twin bed, they may be a bit large but will offer extra room if you are a sleeper who tosses and turns all night long.

5. Queen Pillows

Queen pillows are one of the larger pillow sizes for sleeping. As their name implies, queen pillows are designed to best fit queen mattresses. Most queen mattresses are around 60” in width – the exact size it would take to fit two 20 x 30” queen pillows side by side.

Queen pillows will fit in a standard-size pillow case, though they will be a bit snug. However, this snugness can be good since it can help keep your pillowcase from sliding off if you move around a lot in your sleep. You can also buy queen-size pillowcases if a looser fit is your preference.

6. King Pillows

King pillows measure approximately 20 x 36” and are designed so that two of these pillows will fit lengthwise across a king or California king mattress. These are some of the largest pillows available for purchase and are a great choice if you like to sleep with a lot of support to prevent unwanted neck pain while you sleep.

King pillows are often recommended to people who sleep on their backs because of this added support. These pillows are typically wide enough to support you from shoulder to shoulder as you sleep. This helps stop your shoulders from bending in strange ways and potentially causing pain.

King pillows will not fit into standard pillowcases, however, You’ll need to purchase specialty pillowcases that are specifically made to fit king-size pillows. Fortunately, many king bedding sets will come with these pillowcases already – just be sure to check the label before you buy.

7. Body Pillows

Body pillows are a type of specialty pillow much longer than standard options. These pillows typically measure 20 x 54” in size. One of these pillows will fit well across the width of a queen or king bed.

Body pillows are commonly used by people who like to sleep on their sides since the long pillow can support all along one side of your body. Many pregnant women will buy body pillows for this reason.

Why Does Pillow Size Matter?

Pillow size matters because it can impact how well you sleep. If your pillows are too small for the size of bed you use, there’s a strong chance that you’ll roll over in the middle of the night and your head will leave the pillow altogether. Because of it, you can miss out on lots of neck support and end up with a poorer night’s sleep.

You’ll also want to consider pillow size if you’re looking for an option that will fit the pillowcases you already have on hand. It can be very frustrating to go out and buy a brand new pillow, only to come home and figure out it doesn’t fit any of the pillowcases you already own. Understanding pillow sizes can save you a lot of time and stress.

Another thing to think about when choosing new pillows is the overall design of your bedroom space. Layering different sizes of pillows together can be eye-catching, giving your bed a neat finish. You may want to consider what sizes of pillows you are buying so that you can make creative arrangements on your bed top.

How to Choose the Right Pillow Size

How to Choose the Right Pillow Size

It may not seem like it, but there are right and wrong choices when picking a new pillow for your bedroom. Different sizes of pillows will work better for some people than they will for others. While the final decision is up to your preferences, there are a few important things to remember.

The Right Pillow For How You Sleep

Most people have a preference for how they sleep at night. Some people are back sleepers, others prefer to sleep on their side, and some even on their stomachs. You could also be a sleeper who rotates through all three positions. How you sleep can determine which type of pillow will work best for you.

If you sleep on your side or stomach, a standard pillow may be best for you. People who sleep on their sides or stomach often bunch up their pillows as they sleep. A slightly smaller pillow will bunch better than a larger one, making you more comfortable and supporting you in these positions.

Back sleepers often need a larger pillow to fully support their neck and shoulders as they sleep. A queen or king-size pillow will probably work best if this is how you sleep. These pillows are wide enough to hold the entire width of your shoulders without causing them to bend at a weird angle.

Sleepers who move around a lot will want to also use a larger pillow size, like a queen or a king. These will be wide enough to prevent your head from rolling off your pillow as you move. They’ll be able to give you consistent support no matter what position you end up in as the night moves on.

The Right Pillow For Your Bed Size

When choosing a pillow, it’s also important to find one that will fit well on your bed and give you enough support no matter where you lay. Standard pillows, for example, are one of the smaller options available and will fit best on a twin or full-size bed. Two standard pillows can fit side-by-side on these mattresses, guaranteeing you’ll have support no matter where you roll.

If you sleep in larger bed size, like a queen or king, you’ll want a larger pillow as well. Two queen pillows will fit side-by-side across a queen bed, just like two king pillows will do the same on a king bed. A body pillow is also a good choice if you have either of these bed sizes.

How Do I Know My Pillow Size?

You can figure out what size pillows you have at home by measuring them yourself. Take a firm tape measure and use it to measure the length and width of the pillow. Try to lay it at flat as possible as you measure, then compare your measurements to the chart included in this article. This should help you determine what size pillow you have.

If you don’t have a tape measure on hand, try laying your pillow on your mattress, touching one of the outer sides. If you know that your bed is a twin or a full and the pillow fits exactly twice across the width of your mattress, you probably have a standard pillow. If you have a queen and the pillow fits twice across its width, it is probably a queen pillow.

You can also determine the size of your pillow by how well it fits into the pillowcases you own. If it fits easily into a standard pillowcase, it is probably a standard pillow. If it fits but is a bit snug, it may be a queen pillow. If it doesn’t fit at all, it’s probably a king pillow or other larger type.

When in doubt, try to see if your pillow still has its tags attached. The tag will often tell you the pillow size or the dimensions of the pillow. You can compare this information to the chart in this article to know what size of pillow you have on hand.

Do Queen Size Pillows Fit Inside Standard Cases?

Queen-size pillows can typically fit into a standard pillowcase. However, the fit will often be a bit snug and you may have to squish the pillow a bit to get it to fit. But it will typically work and you won’t have to stress about needing to buy new pillowcases.

Standard pillowcases will typically fit standard, super standard, or queen pillow sizes. This makes them a great option to have on hand, given that they’re virtually guaranteed to fit most of the common pillows you can buy. You can, however, buy larger queen or king pillowcases if that is your preference.


Choosing a new pillow doesn’t have to be confusing now that you know everything about the different sizes of pillows available on the market today. Keep this guide handy the next time you go shopping for pillows to give you a better night’s sleep. You’ll thank us when you wake up well rested and refreshed!